Zambia 5050 blog – Zamtime delays can’t stop a great day of netball and networking

17 August 2017

University of Bath student Jake Samuel is part of the organising team for the Zambia 5050 charity challenge, a fundraising campaign led by Olympian Mel Marshal and Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty to create sporting opportunities for some of Africa’s poorest children.

Marshal and Peaty, along with their team, are undertaking ten hours of sport with children each day for five days at five different locations in the capital city of Lusaka and its surrounding communities with the aim of raising £50,000.

Samuel, who studies Sports & Social Sciences, is in Lusaka helping to deliver the logistics of the programme as part of the annual Volunteer Zambia project involving universities in the Wallace Group of UK Higher Education Institutions.

He is providing a daily blog from Zambia on the challenge, which continued today with netball and a visit to the High Commission…

Day 2 – Kalingalinga – Netball

Having completed the first day in fine fashion, I woke up this morning with a spring in my step even though it was 6 am. I knew today would be very different from yesterday, and that Mel’s team, who we call the ‘delegates’, would be in for a shock when they arrive at Kalingalinga, which is situated right in the middle of Lusaka, and is a classic Zambian-style province. So after breakfast we set off for the day 2 site, again with Siedi the bus driver at the helm.

We arrived at the site, and it was in very stark contrast to the day before, even more than I had anticipated. The only person there was Gift (SIA staff) with his truck and the makings of a tent yet to be erected. So with an hour to go before the start of the 10 hours I was a little anxious, especially as we spent 30 mins putting up the tent only to realise the owners wanted it back.

We had to take it down and wait for a replacement which didn’t arrive until 10am, by which time we were well into the challenge. We had got the court laid out and the stations were ready for the delegates, who didn’t arrive on time due to traffic. The late start benefitted us, though, as the children like yesterday didn’t arrive till 8.45am so we could go straight into the netball skill development sessions.

This lasted until 11.30am where the delegates decided they wanted to look around Kalingalinga, so some went and some stayed to participate in the Zambian games, which we led. Well when I say we, I mean the other volunteers, mainly JP, Jon (Wallace group project manager) and Molly (Netball lead coach from Northumbria).

We went straight into the netball games, which included a mix of the delegates vs SIA staff as well as the volunteers and the children over a period of five hours. During this time I had to disappear to Fountain of Hope where the next day would be, to check if the site was ready and the kit for the children is all in order, as tomorrow will be a big media push to increase donation in order to reach the goal of £50,000. So if you fancy donating please go the Perfect Day Foundation website.

What I thought would only take an hour turned into over two, due to Zamtime, a little bit of mis-coordination and having to take BBC presenter Colin Murray back to the airport for his flight home. When I got back to Kalingalinga no one was there except for Harry (St Andrews media student) who was busy working with BBC East Midlands, who are producing reports on the challenge, so it was a quick turnaround back to the house before heading out to the High Commission for a special reception.

We arrived there around 7pm, which I thought was a pretty good effort considering, only to be chucked in at the deep end and get chatting about this Sunday which still had plans to be finalised with the Zambian Swimming Association and in front of the BBC live streaming from the house. Once my time in the limelight was over, my next stop was the bar to get a Mosi (Zambian Beer) and some food, which I had been in dire need of for hours.

Once I had refuelled, I got chatting to one of the SIA board members, the Swimming Association again, and the Commissioners for the British High Commission, who were all very interesting people. Having finished all the socialising we all heading back to Kublonga to get some well deserved pizza and then onto home to prepare for day 3, volleyball.

Donations to Zambia 5050 can be made by texting MELZ17 £10 to 70070 or visiting

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